Cable Testing Glossary

Term Definition
connections The continuous electrical path between 2 or more points wherein current flows. The path is constructed with metal parts, such as copper wire, contacts, terminations, splices, and mating contacts of connectors.
device-under-test (DUT) The cable, harness, or other assembly that is being tested by the cable tester.
dielectric breakdown (DWV) The insulation barrier is insufficient and only a small air gap keeps metal conductors from shorting. When high voltage is applied, the tester detects the weak insulation through an electrical arc (electricity flowing through the insulation).
fixturing The wires and connectors that connect the device-under-test to the tester.
high wire resistance The expected connection is established but the current is weak due to current being limited as it runs through the connection.
insulation The connector housings, outside coverings of wire, and air gaps that keep metal components separated.  Insulation prevents electricity from flowing between connections that were not intended to connect.
insulation resistance (IR) failure Insulation fails to properly separate points at a required level. The insulation resistance is sufficient to prevent a short, yet is not high enough to meet the insulation resistance specification.
intermittent open The intended electrical path contains an unintended gap that appears and disappears when the assembly is flexed.
intermittent short An unintended connection between 2 or more parts which appears and disappears when the assembly is flexed.
mating connector A connector on the test fixturing that connects, or mates, to a connector on the device-under-test.
miswire An unintended connection which is the result of a misplaced contact within a connector.
net Two or more interconnected points in a cable or harness. *
open The intended electrical path contains a gap, across which, electric current cannot pass.
point An electrical contact used for testing.  Each pin of the test connectors of the tester can be considered a point.  Likewise each connector pin on the DUT or mating connectors can be considered a point.
short An unintended connection between 2 or more parts. This failure indicates insufficient insulation between metal conductors which were not intended to be connected.
testing The electrical test of an assembly to verify all expected connections; and to verify insulation prevents unexpected connections.

* Cirris testers apply hipot to nets and to single unconnected connector pins when the setting "Apply Hipot to All Adapter Pins" is turned on.